Recipe Spotlight

Make “Bacon” Bits with . . . Coconut? 

My colleague fell in love with these crispy, savory coconut bacon bits. I had to try them for myself. 

Published Feb. 2, 2023.

A few weeks ago my colleague Caren raved about DIY bacon bits.

Not made with bacon, though. With coconut flakes.

My eyes widened. Are coconut bacon bits really that good?

I was so intrigued I had to get into the kitchen and test it for myself.

Spoiler: They are so darn good.

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These “bacon” bits come together in no time. Toss coconut flakes in flavors that mimic bacon: soy sauce, liquid smoke, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and a touch of cayenne. Then bake your coconut until golden.

Voilà! Enough coconut bacon bits to last you a week (in an airtight container).

Be sure to use unsweetened flaked coconut, rather than shredded. It gives you more surface area to capture all those bacon-y flavors.

I’m not going to lieI was a coconut bacon bit skeptic. But these sure won me over.

How do you serve these delectable bits? The possibilities are endless! Sprinkle them on salads, burgers, pasta, savory oatmeal, or even pizza

Coconut Bacon Bits

Makes about 2 cups

Total Time: 40 minutes

Coconut bacon can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. This recipe can easily be halved and baked in your toaster oven.

  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) 
  • 2 cups flaked unsweetened coconut 

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk soy sauce; oil; maple syrup; liquid smoke; garlic powder; smoked paprika; pepper; and cayenne, if using, together in large bowl. 

2. Add coconut and stir until evenly coated. Transfer coconut mixture to baking sheet and bake for 14-16 minutes until coconut is golden brown, tossing halfway through baking. Let cool for 10 minutes (coconut will continue to crisp while cooling). Serve. 

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